Arsene Wenger admits he regrets some of his bust-ups with Jose Mourinho – but went biblical after insisting even Jesus Christ made mistakes.
Wenger will go head-to-head with Mourinho on Saturday and will be remembered more for his rows than results having never beaten the Manchester United boss.
Gunners manager Wenger even pushed ex-Chelsea boss Mourinho on the touchline at Stamford Bridge in 2014 but insists he will shake hands with his bitter rival.
Wenger said: “I make mistakes in my life, and I regret every one I make, believe me. I would have loved to have a life without any mistakes. But unfortunately I am not even sure that Jesus did that.”
Wenger and Mourinho have been involved in a string of high-profile spats with the Portuguese calling his French rival a “voyeur” and a “specialist in failure”.
But Wenger claims he has never been distracted by Mourinho’s wind-ups and mind games and says he is worried about the football rather than any personal jibes.
Wenger said: “In life, everybody is responsible for what he says, and what he does. So I am responsible for what I say and what I do. Not what other people say or what they do.
“So I cannot respond to responsibility for what other people say about me or about themselves. I stand up for what I have said and what I do.
“I think as well, before a big game like that it is ‘Mourinho v Wenger’ but it is not that what is most important, what is important is the quality of the game when it starts.”
Wenger has not won in 13 competitive games – Arsenal’s Community Shield win in 2015 is regarded as a friendly – but says it is important both teams serve up a spectacle as it will be watched around the world.
Wenger added: “When you watch Real Madrid v Barcelona you want to see a football game and you are never disappointed because you see the quality of the game.
“Today, football has changed and even if it is Manchester Untied v Arsenal, if the game is not good after 20 minutes they move somewhere else, that is what has changed in the modern game.
“It is about winning and losing and I can understand that. Today, the audience is demanding, Sky pays a lot of money for football but it is not the controversy before the game, that can attract a few hundred more, but it is not that what creates the audience.
“The audience is the quality of the game and today the audience test the game, if the quality is not good, not does Manchester United or Arsenal win?
“Afterwards you can contrast the styles but the game has to be interesting and it can be with differences in style.
“Something that has changed in the last five years is that the audience test the game and the quality of what they see and if it is not good they go somewhere else because they have five games a day.”